Technological advancements, especially the creation of social network platforms, have changed how people connect. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others allow us to share information and photos about our lives with others, provide opportunities to make new connections, and network professionally. However, social media has a dark side, especially as it relates to the legal system.
You might think that you have your social media accounts locked to protect anyone from seeing or obtaining your information, but this is not the case. Law enforcement and prosecutors can use your social media information in their criminal investigations, including those involving drug charges. If you have been arrested on drug charges in San Diego, it’s best to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights.
Specific Ways Prosecutors Use Social Media in Drug Charge Cases
If you’re charged in a criminal case, investigators will look for all of your public information. If your social media accounts are private, some choose to create fake profiles to connect with defendants and view private information and posts. Law enforcement also has the authority to request private information directly from a social network with a warrant or subpoena. Specific ways the prosecution uses this information for a case include:
Discovery of Evidence
Law enforcement or investigators employed by the prosecution to look for any evidence that proves their charges against you are true. For example, if you were charged with possession of narcotic drugs, they may scour your social media accounts to look for photos and posts that show you had drugs in your possession or that you were using them. Not only will they look at your social media, but they will look at the social media of your friends, family, and other online connections.
Investigate Your Alibi
Alibis do not play into many drug charges, but they sometimes play a large role in the delivery of controlled substances or drug trafficking charges. The prosecution will dig to confirm any alibi you provided, which means they are also looking for a way to discredit your alibi. Your social media pages and the pages of others can offer posts, comments, and photos that provide information about your whereabouts for certain types of drug charges.
Develop Connections With Those Close to You
Part of the investigation process is questioning people close to you to learn about your activities and whereabouts. If you are a suspect in a case, they might use fake profiles to develop connections with family members, friends, and colleagues. Sometimes, these connections are purely together information passively. Other times, investigators might directly engage with others to find out any information they can use against you at trial.
Find Witnesses and Other Suspects
Law enforcement and prosecution also use social media to connect with people you might not know when they are looking for witnesses and other suspects. In drug charge cases, this might not happen as often as it does with other types of crimes, but it can happen. For example, if you were accused of selling drugs at a party, the prosecution might use social media to search for those who witnessed an exchange or those who might have made a purchase.
Obtain Information that Speaks to Your Character
The prosecution will use whatever they find during their investigation to discredit your character in front of a jury. Certain posts about your activities, even if they are not drug-related, can damage your drug charge case by ensuring the jury won’t perceive you in the best light possible for your situation.
Get Legal Help from Dod Law, APC After Drug Charges in San Diego
Ultimately, once someone has been arrested on drug charges, law enforcement and the prosecution want to do everything possible to make sure the charges stick so they can get a conviction. Obtaining a conviction requires using every strategy possible to solidify a case against a defendant. Combing through a defendant’s social media accounts and the accounts of those they are connected to is one of those tools.
If you have been arrested on drug charges in San Diego, you need to stay off social media. Do not delete your accounts because it might be interpreted as tampering with evidence. However, refrain from posting comments or photos until your case is resolved. The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Dod Law, APC have ample experience helping people fight drug charges. Contact us online or call (619) 814-5110 to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help.